The Truth About The Origination of the “Blues” Music

3 Posted by - August 5, 2018 - BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS, MUSIC

Most people who do not know a lot about the music think it was created by tired, and old poor men of the South. Mainly, the people who were from the fertile co origination of ““tton plantations and ramshackle surroundings known as the Mississippi Delta. It is easy to believe that these men lived in hard times which were framed by economic and social degradation. You might even believe that these conditions invested the music with a mysterious poignancy, or a sense of artistic and moral lacking in the sounds of the day. It could be that you imagine a certain mood that originated the music. However, if this is what you thought, then you will be surprised to know you are wrong.


While much of the best details about the music multi-faceted evolution from Southern roots, and not just Mississippi, most of the rest is really untrue. The notion of how the blues got started didn’t come from someone who actually played the music or lived during the beginning of it, no the notion came from generations afterwards. Most of the people were record collectors, most of them young men, most all of them white, in the ‘40s and ‘50s.  They set themselves busy about discerning the lost traces of a stark, acoustic music that bore only the faintest resemblance to the hot, electric sounds then emerging from big cities.

Sure, some of the men who played the “Blues” were poor, but they sure didn’t plan on staying that way. Most of them could play much more than just straight-up blues. However, the times were changing around them and they needed to keep up and be prepared for the next hottest black sound. Not, only did people enjoy listening to the Blues during this time, but there were many other black sounds that were ‘popping’ as well. Somehow this information never made it into the myths about the creation of “Blues” music.



Two of the qualities that was most cherished by the collectors of old blues music was it high artistic pedigree and its low availability. The most iconic figure of this time was an astonishing singer and guitarist whose music would never have made it into the lexicon of American roots music had it not been for collectors. recorded 29 compositions, 12 of which he recorded twice. He also had 3 recording sessions, in Texas between 1936 and 1937. “Johnson’s music was so singular, and so powerfully affecting, that some took to it as the fount of all wisdom, the essential beginning point of blues music as we know it.  That he supposedly became so good only by “selling his soul to the Devil” only made the story that much better. “His records didn’t sell too well, and not too many copies survived the years. He died under shady circumstances before he could break through to the big time.”(Reynolds, 2008) Years later, his work was championed by the blues collectors and their kindred spirits, the folk music revivalists of the 1960s. ( read more here )


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